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NOTD

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by P Thought, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    New Old Takamine Day! Having been a Takamine nut since 1975, I've been through quite a few "lawsuit" Taks, and I've mostly moved on to newer models, which are generally superior to the old ones in their design and construction.

    There's been one on my bucket list, though, the F312-S. It's the only 6-string Takamine, aside from the classical models, that I know of from that time that had the 1 3/4" nut width that I've come to prefer. The "S" designates a solid spruce top, and those were top-of-the-line at the time they were made. This one came up on GC's used pages (longboring story here), and I bought it sight unseen, which I understand can be risky.

    312-S.jpg

    I am tickled! The guitar was rated in "good" condition in GC's listing, I guess because of a small ding in the top. But other than that it looks like it's been played very little in the 37 years since it was built. It's fairly loud with nice tone balance, at least to my old ears.

    312-S back.jpg

    Elsewhere I've told about my "camp guitar", which is a lam-top version of this same model. It's reached a point where I can't support it any more, my repairs finally killed it. I swapped cases; the new one is in nearly perfect condition, but the camp case had a good start collecting stickers.

    312-S headstock.jpg

    Sweet slotted headstock, wide nut, no fret dots, 12-fret small body. . .OK, now I promise, no more "lawsuits". This guitar is stock the way it came off the sales floor, so I hesitate a little, but I might take it in for a bone nut and saddle, just for perfection's sake. I thought about putting a strap pin in the neck, but decided I can have one guitar with a headstock-tied strap. Didn't want to drill any holes. And it won't be getting pickups.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  2. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Nice! I love the look of slotted headstocks. Congratulations.
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    PT, it is my understanding that there never was an actual lawsuit between Martin and Takamine or anyone else. There were some threats, a bunch of lawyer talk but no actual legal action. I do believe that Gibson filed a suit against one of the Japanese manufacturers but AKAIK Martin never did. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

    Still a cool guitar, I'm partial to 12 fret slotheads, Enjoy
     
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  4. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's right. Today other Japanese-made brands get tagged as lawsuit, too, sort of Takamine tagalongs I think. The way I understand it Takamine had been considered for making Martin's Sigma line, that fell apart, and Takamine began selling Martin knockoffs (Guild, too, BTW), distributed in the U.S. by Kaman Music. Back then an F-360S, for example, at 20 feet looked just like a Martin D-28, with the headstock label in the same script and style as Martin's. Apparently there was a cease-and-desist letter at some point, though not a lawsuit, and in the late '80s Takamine changed its headstock design and built its own designs. Wood choices and hardware, specifications choices, bling choices too, are much better today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  5. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    Wow, I didn’t know they were considered to make sigmas. Could you imagine if that held today? Those would be some amazing guitars!

    Congrats on a beaut! Play it in good health!
     
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  6. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    excellant choice , very cool ,I had a beautiful tac lefty but as my fingers turned to sausages I could not do D chords so i had to sell it
     
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  7. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Whoever ended up making Sigmas did a nice job, I understand. Sigma owners seem to like them very much.
     
  8. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice guitar! And i’m a fan of 12 fret slot heads too.
     
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  9. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Forgive me this one bump. I would like to add a response to having played my new-old Takamine for a little over a month. Until just the past few days, when I've been able to sit with an electric a little, the F-312S has been my one and only. I've had to play it mostly in awkward twisted-up positions, in the recliner where I spend most of the time when I'm not up on my feet, as I convalesce between hip-replacement surgeries (it's going very well, thanks).

    I'm still beside myself. If I'd known everything about Takamines then that I know about Taks of that vintage now, I'd have bought this one for my first guitar. If I'd done that, I probably would never have wanted another guitar at all, except maybe for the classical one, my C-140SH.

    While it's probably true that I could make it play a little better with a good setup, its current setup is well within my range of comfort, heavy-handed fretter that I am. I might tinker with it later, but at my level of setup skill I'm not sure I'll necessarily improve it. I'm going to leave it alone for now, maybe forever.

    As I said before, the guitar is bone (well, plastic) stock, and shows little evidence of ever being played. While I'm sure a bone saddle and nut would make it a little nicer, it sounds very nice as it is. I'm going to leave it alone. It's kind of cool that the instrument is that old and so untouched. Also I've decided that if I do later decide to change to bone suspension, I'll take it in and let my favorite guitar tech do the work; he already knows how.

    I have two later-model Takamine acoustics, both with plug-in options, that are technically better instruments, advanced as they are from the "lawsuit" lines, and built with all-solid tops, sides, and backs. But if you put the big squeeze on me (please don't) and made me keep just one steel-string, nostalgia might win out over modern improvements. That slotted headstock with the faux-Martin script has always called out to me, and I love the 12-fret markerless board and the 1 3/4" nut. Really, I could be happy with this as an only guitar.

    I think I could sell this guitar--might have to be patient in this market--for around twice what I paid for it. I wouldn't, though. I wouldn't sell it at any price if I didn't have to. It was too hard to find.

    Again, thanks for excusing the bump. I am one very happy Takamine nut, and I just wanted to tell why.

    Edit while I still can: I couldn't find it and had to re-Google. This Takamine is a knockoff of Martin's 0-16 NY, which they made apparently in the 60s and 70s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  10. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Congrats, again, Mr. @P Thought ! Some of those small body 12-fret boxes are just simply amazing. Glad to hear it's working out for you.
     
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  11. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    That is a lovely guitar that just begs to be played. My fingers want it.
     
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  12. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I didn't even think to check until just now: the scale is 24 3/4". Interesting.
     
  13. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    It sounds like you've found the right guitar Mr. Thought. It's a great feeling when the theoretical and the practical and the aesthetic merge...it's bound to be a source of inspiration, right? And like a good soul you're trying to pass that inspiration on.

    The Martin O-16NY is well thought of for such a plain little guy. I've read Martin made them during the folk boom of the 1960's when the little gut string Martins like the OO-18 from the 1920's became sought after. They were very lightly braced so they projected very well even with light strings. Of course Brazilian rosewood for the bridge and fretboard didn't hurt. And the nut is 1 7/8"!

    The Japanese builder K. Yairi made a version of the small Martin too, an NYOO16B that has most of the same features. I've seen one offered for $1,400.

    And please know that it's all about physical therapy at this point. I know you'll give it your all. Best regards.
     
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